|Scrapes and Losses|
|Summary:||Jarod pokes at his non-mortal wound. Rowan receives a more mortal message from her kinfolk.|
|Related Logs:||Follows Blood and Pride more-or-less directly.|
|Pyke Isle — Tent|
|Apr 06, 289|
Ser Jarod Rivers has passed an uncomfortable few days since the Army of the Cape's arrival at the Pyke, and their initial adventure in the castle's lower bailey that left him with a few new holes in his flesh he hadn't planned on. Most notably he returned with a deep gash in his side left by a squid polearm that lost him a good deal of blood, and required some sewing from the healers in camp. He passed his first night in the hospital tent under their care, though the next day he was strong enough to move back to his own private tent. Since then he's been by turns pained and restless. Moreso the latter now. He's just returned from getting his bandages changed by one of the healers at the main hospital tent and is sitting on his bedroll with his shirt off, poking at it in a way that's probably not helpful. It's an ugly-looking sort of gash, particularly with the layer of what appears to be moss the healers applied to it, and it'll leave a scar when it's healed, but it doesn't seem to be festering.
Just about then, Squire Rowan is returning from her turn at watch, looking a bit dark beneath the eyes and frayed at the edges. "Stop that," she scolds off-hand, tossing her helmet aside and working on the buckles of her armor. "Don't make me put mittens on you."
"That Halfsepton Marsden put some sort of root or something on it," Jarod says. "It's supposed to draw out the pus or something, so it heals clean." He plainly finds this fascinating. But he does put his hands at his sides and fold them, so he's not tempted to poke it more. See? Being good. "He told me to unwrap it tonight and peel it off, so it could get a bit of air. Start to clot proper. I, err, might need a hand with that." He sounds half-shy about asking. "Also said I'd be good to get back on the line tomorrow." There's a tiredness about his eyes as well, so that's perhaps not all the halfsepton said, but it doesn't sound untrue.
Shrugging off her maile, Rowan rolls her neck and shoulders. "He said that, eh?" she frowns, looking skeptical. She ungirds her arms, laying out the blade carefully. "What else did he say?" she asks, glancing at her Ser with one brow aloft.
"It's not so bad as well that," Jarod mutters, rather than answering Rowan's question right away. Though he does add, "Said it might do good to take another day of rest if I could spare it, though." He tilts his head up a bit at her. "Suppose I can at that. Unless something big happens, of course. Should be with the men if we're called to the fore."
"That," says Rowan, smiling, "sounds a lot more like the sensible man the septon's said to be." She strolls over to his bedroll once she's down to shirt and breeches, sitting on his good side. "So you're going to rest another day. Since you're also a sensible man." And since she is not a man, and rarely to be reasoned with when she has her mind set on something.
"You look like you could do with a day of rest yourself," Jarod observes. Which may be why he doesn't put up much of an argument. "Aye. Could do. Don't want it to tear open again. Always more of a mess." He leans against her some once she's sitting beside him. "I do want to see if I can sit in with our commanders if they talk to that squid who yielded to me. There're a few things I'd like to ask him about what's within the Pyke that I don't figure they'll bother with."
"Like Avi?" asks Rowan, combing her fingers through his hair.
"Aye, like Miss Avinashi," Jarod affirms, closing his eyes as she runs her fingers through his hair. "And the others taken from the Roost as slaves or thralls. It's not just her. Did promise Jace I'd look for her on the Pyke, though. He figures she might be held by Maron Greyjoy himself, though he wouldn't quite explain why in full."
Rowan shrugs. "Well, she's beautiful. And exotic. And skilled. I'm sure the Prince of Pyke gets his pick of the spoils." She presses a kiss to Jarod's temple, leaning against him in counterbalance — taking comfort from his nearness as much as she offers it herself. "We'll find her. Or she'll find us, like I said, when we control the isle."
Jarod's head settles to rest against her shoulder. "A good quarter of the smallfolk in the Roost were gone, most killed but some taken. Was mostly women taken to be thralls." Green eyes flick up at her, though he can't quite hold her gaze, and looks away. He nods a little, about controlling the isle. "It'll fall, sooner or later. All the might of Westeros is about to fall down upon it. Last night they said the Kingslayer himself was leading men in another part of the castle, though we never saw him."
"When the king and a kingslayer both come for your prince, it's time to surrender," opines Rowan, murmuring against his hair. "I wonder that they're still fighting. Maron Greyjoy must be mad — or so full of spite and pride he just doesn't give a fuck. You have to be… full of something to keep sending your kin out in waves of suicide."
"Pride, I figure," Jarod says. "Wasn't much else but that that made them think they could put themselves up as 'kings' of these damned rocks. I hope Good King Robert drags every survivor with a trace of traitor Greyjoy blood in them to King's Landing, hangs them from the towers of the Red Keep itself. Nothing less will do for what they did to the River coast. Least it's near done, though. There'll be peace soon enough."
He's settled in nicely, when there's a call outside his tent. A man's voice, but unfamiliar, asking for "Lord Nayland." That is strange. Jarod gets callers periodically from the Terrick ranks, but they rarely come for his squire.
And even more rarely does Rowan get called 'lord' anymore — so she looks a bit confused, as well. She climbs to her feet, however, and treads over to push open the tent flap, squinting at the man without. "Oi. That's me. Also my brothers, though, and my father. Which're you looking for?"
Jarod tries to get to his feet in the quick, bounding-at-full-speed fashion he typically conducts his life. This prompts a pained wince, and he sits down again. This at least reminds him to put on his shift, which given it requires upper body movement is something of a process. He finally settles for just shrugging into a green tunic and sitting, head tilted to eye whoever's on the other side of the tent flap as Rowan speaks with them.
Outside is a guard in the livery of the Mire Naylands, who states his mission less-than-gracefully. He's been sent by Lord Rickart to accompany Rowan while about camp. For the lord's security, following the death of Lord Ser Ryker Nayland on the mainland. He rattles this news off in a perfunctory way as if presuming it's common knowledge, though it certainly wasn't around camp as of today.
"What?" Rowan blinks, paling. She says nothing for a moment, then blows out a breath and rakes he fingers through her hair. "Fuck." She looks sharply at the guard. "What happened? To Lord Ryker."
The Nayland guard, seemingly having little sense of Rowan's shock (or just little tact) continues to rattle off answers to her questions bluntly. Lord Ryker died of an illness earlier that month. Precisely what 'illness' he does not know. Funeral rites are to be held at Stonebridge. Ser Riordan Nayland is to be heir and regent to Stonebridge until the child he conceived with Lady Isolde is born. And then he just stands there and watches her. Which is, after all, what he was assigned to do.
"Seven hells…" Jarod mutters, once he's on his feet and has approached to be something of a contributor to this. Not that he says anything. He just watches the guard, then reaches out to put his hand on Rowan's shoulder, squeezing it. The gesture is still in the general 'bro-y support' sphere, if barely.
"Lord Ryker — " Rowan clears her throat, frowning deeply. She rubs her eyes. "Right, then. I'd heard he'd been ill, but…" She falls silent again, just staring into the middle distance and breathing deliberately. "Okay. Thank you. Tell — tell Lord Rickart that your services aren't required here. Unless you're somehow going to throw yourself in the way of bad humors and ill winds, my life's not in any more danger than it was yesterday. Or a week ago." She waves a hand at the man. Shoo. "Go tell — my father that I'll attend him presently."
"I'll have one of my men assigned to Lord Rowan when I'm not able to see to it myself," Jarod says to the guard, tone firm on the matter. "You're dismissed. Please offer Lord Rickart my sympathies." The Nayland guard did not seem inclined to scurry for Rowan, but Jarod he can't ignore (not in his own tent in the Terrick camp, at least), and he does shoo himself with a curt nod. Jarod ties the tent flap closed firm behind him. "Seven fucking hells…" His immediate commentary doesn't stretch far beyond that.
Rowan drops into a camp chair, slumped, the frown still etched between her brows. "It'd be nice if, just once, being 'Lord' Rowan meant someone actually fucking listened to me." She looks sucker-punched and a bit ill. "Gods. Poor, fucking, paranoid, spiteful lunatic — " She leans over her knees and scrubs her face with her hands. Breathe. "Warrior walk him home." Giving her head a sharp shake, she pushes herself to her feet again. "I should — see my father." Actually talk to the man. Something she hasn't done in years upon years.
Jarod doesn't add anymore profanity-laced observations about Ryker's death. He just follows Rowan to the chair, watching her, then stands beside her when she gets to her feet again. "Aye. That'd be good." He reaches out a hand to touch her chin. "I can come with you if you like. Or send somebody less obtrusive. I did mean that about having one of our men with you around camp. Your lord father must suspect something foul if he wants his sons under guard, and just because I don't particularly want a Nayland-sworn wandering around my tents doesn't mean he's wrong for it."
"Fuck," says Rowan again, softly. "I — I don't know. I feel like I should go see him alone. This is… you know. Family. A father's grief." She passes a hand over her face. "Not that he's about to break down in front of anyone, I'm sure, but…" She slides her fingers into her hair, gripping it fretfully and commencing an aimless, restless pacing. "There's still Rio and Rutger and Raff — even Raymond. No reason to think anyone'd give a shit about me. Even if this were something unnatural, which… there's nothing to say it is. People die. Ryker was probably too stupid to listen to a healer, maybe never even saw one until it was too late."
Jarod nods to that. "I'll walk you over but, aye. Perhaps you're right. About properly seeing him alone, that is. He is your father, will do him good to have his children with him as he deals with this. Rowenna, I…" He sort of oafs around for the right thing to say and fails to locate it. Watching her pace. "…I'm sorry about your brother."
She stops abruptly, working a swallow past the lump in her throat and casting Jarod a bereft, aching look. "Yeah. Me, too. Surprisingly." She shakes her head, pinching the bridge of her nose. "I don't know why. I barely knew him. He was an asshole."
"I've got brothers who're assholes, too," Jarod replies ruefully to that. "They're still my kin. It matters. It should matter." He again has that look like he's trying to summon up something more to say. He does not succeed. So, he just draws closer to her and reaches out to catch her in a firm hug, provided she doesn't pull away.
She doesn't pull away, hiding for a moment against his shoulder and in his arms — though she's mindful of his side. She breathes him in, drawing strength and comfort, hands curling in his tunic as she (manfully) fights tears. It's a brief respite, but for a moment she's just a girl, grieving, held securely in safety, comfort, and love.
Jarod minds his side rather less than she does, instinctively drawing her close and tight as possible. He ever hugs big. Which makes him wince, and he has to shift a little.
Jarod minds his side rather less than she does, instinctively drawing her close and tight as possible. He ever hugs big. Which makes him wince, and he has to shift a little. He doesn't fumble for anything further comforting to say, seemingly coming to the conclusion he will never actually find that. He just holds her tight, tipping his chin down a notch to kiss the top of her head and rest his nose in her curls.
Rowan draws a deep, slow breath, holds it, and releases a long sigh, just as slow. "I love you," she whispers against his shoulder. That seems to be all she has to say for the moment, her voice tight and verklempt.
"Love you, too, my Mire rose," Jarod mutters, leaving it at that as well. He'll hold her like that long as she likes, until she's ready to go face the Lord of the Mire.